Most organizations find themselves relying upon some degree of cloud computing, whether they are fully committed by abandoning their on-prem datacenter or merely subscribing to Microsoft Office 365™. While some have been reluctant to embrace the cloud, it has become a necessity for most. As is so often the case when we rely upon others for mission critical services, the idea of relinquishing control comes with a new set of risks which organizations must address. Since there is no single “best” cloud service provider (CSP), each of the major players have advantages and disadvantages over the others. These may include price, accessibility, tools, promotional incentives or any number of factors. This often results in organizations utilizing multiple CSPs. This may be due to selecting disparate services which are best suited for certain divisions within the customer’s organization. Employing multiple CSPs may also be a result of mergers or acquisitions in which the sub-organizations already rely upon different providers or tools. Another reason to use multiple providers may be to avoid being locked into a single solution.
Regardless of the reasons, most organizations use multiple cloud providers. This introduces yet another challenge, as they need consolidated visibility and management of their data. Cloud Management Platforms (CMPs) are a critical tool to manage environments with multiple providers. It’s not my place to endorse or recommend a specific CMP, but when faced with the decision, consider factors such as a consolidated dashboard, cost visibility and management, security, licensing restrictions, regulatory compliance, integration with internal systems, provisioning and de-provisioning and performance. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, but it’s important to plan for and carefully consider the implications of multiple Cloud Service Providers and not let the management platform be an afterthought.